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Karoun Bagamian N'01

Young Alumna Award

Karoun recently completed her doctoral work at Emory University as a student affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Special Pathogens Branch, under the mentorship of Dr. James N. Mills, a foremost expert in the field of disease ecology.  During her graduate education, she was awarded a CDC Public Health Dissertation grant and a CDC ORISE Fellowship. Her dissertation just received the 2012 Wildlife Disease Association Graduate Student Research Recognition Award.

Born in Los Angeles, Karoun  grew up in the Armenian community there. She showed an interest in biology quite early—as a child, she would dig for dinosaur fossils in the backyard and memorize field guides of mammals.  Karoun’s interest in the evolution and ecology of diseases emerged in her Darwinian Medicine course during her undergraduate education at Tulane University.  Karoun’s first research endeavor was in Prof. David Heins’ lab, where she wrote an honors’ thesis about the effects of parasitism on stickleback. She graduated with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In fact, Prof. Heins, Chair of Tulane’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, nominated Karoun for the award as a result of her progress in their field,  “She has made a number of important advances in the study of infectious diseases, and now and in the future will help many people, both professionals and the public.”

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